Group to fight approval of meat plant next to Bradford Sikh temple (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Group to fight approval of meat plant next to Bradford Sikh temple
10:00am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A faith group has vowed to keep up its fight against a meat plant being created next to a prominent Sikh temple.
Two weeks ago, Bradford councillors gave food firm Pakeezah permission to convert a car workshop in Percival Street into a wholesale meat plant, as an expansion of its existing business in the area.
The site is near the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara building, which fronts on to Leeds Road, and hundreds of Sikhs – many of whom are strict vegetarians – had objected to the plan.
Now Bradford’s most senior Sikhs are planning to invite leaders of other faiths to a specially-convened meeting to discuss the issue.
They hope to get the other faiths to back them in their fight to get the decision overturned and to talk about whether a precedent has been set which could affect other places of worship in future.
The decision to organise the inter-faith conference was taken at a meeting of Bradford’s most senior Sikhs.
The Board of Representatives of Bradford Gurdwaras, which met on Saturday, suggested a precedent had been set which could have implications on other faiths.
It said it raised questions about whether planning permission could be granted for a pork processing plant next to a mosque or a synagogue, a beef processing plant next to a Hindu temple, or a lap-dancing club next to a church.
Invitations to the meeting are currently being sent to prominent faith leaders and organisations, including the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, and the Bradford Council for Mosques.
The board has also decided to support the Gurdwara as it takes legal advice on appealing against the decision.
Nirmal Singh, chairman of the board, said they had found the Council’s decision “insensitive and very disappointing”.
He said: “The board supports Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara to seek further legal advice against the decision and we urge the owners of Pakeezah to withdraw their application in recognition that their proposal is most disrespectful to the Gurdwara and thereby hurtful to Sikhs everywhere.”
Pakeezah director Tariq Haq said work had started on the meat plant.
He said: “They just need to understand the fact that we’re only moving a few yards from where we are, it’s an existing business.
“They are not going to see what’s happening and it’s not going to affect the temple in any way, shape or form.”